Ancient Languages, Archaeology and Child Psychology?

BTVS characters do not belong to me. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Spoilers: Up until the Season 5 episode The Body (just to be safe).

Author's Note: This fic is set in Season 5 before the episode The Body. Giles owns the Magic Box and Riley is gone already. This is my first attempt at writing a fanfic so if anyone is interested in being a beta reader I would greatly appreciate it :D

Rupert Giles held doctorates in Ancient Languages and Archaeology. He was a master swordsman, proficient sorcerer and Watcher to the active Slayer. However, none of these things prepared him for the phone call he received from his Slayer's mother on this Sunday afternoon.

"Rupert?" Joyce's inquiry sounded a little strained.

"Joyce? Are you alright?" He was immediately concerned as she had only recently returned home from the hospital following her brain surgery. His anxiety increased as numerous complications raced through his mind. He was after all, very familiar with head injuries.

"Y-yes. I'm fine, but … can you come over right now? As Buffy would say, I have a problem that is definitely hellmouthy."

"I'll be there in 5 minutes." He hung up without waiting for her response, grabbing a sword and the keys to his convertible on the way out the door.

On the drive over to Revello drive he reasoned that the sword was perhaps an overreaction. Joyce would have mentioned if she was being attacked by demons and she hadn't used the code phrase to indicate she was being held hostage. He wondered if Buffy and her friends had changed their plans to watch movies with Joyce and Dawn. Although Buffy had tried to hide it, she was very worried about her mother and had been spending as much time with her and Dawn as possible.

Tires squealing, he pulled into the driveway in the spot adjacent to Joyce's jeep. He left the sword in the front passenger seat and raced up the porch, and yanked open the front door.

And froze. Then blinked. Opened his mouth and then closed it. Then blinked again. Joyce stood in the living room, holding a girl with long brown hair that appeared to be about two years of age. On the floor, with clothes that were overly big, were three blond girls, a red headed girl and a brown haired boy, all around the age of four.

"Giles!" The smallest blond yelled as she launched herself at his knees.

Reflexively he bent down and picked up the child. Peering into her grey-green eyes he tentatively asked, "Buffy?"

"Giles!" She exclaimed again happily as she threw her arms around his neck. This started off a chain reaction amongst the children who all shouted "Giles!" as they ran to him. His many years of martial arts training helped him keep his footing as four small bodies collided with his legs. He picked his way over to the sofa, with two children hanging on each leg and one still in his arms and sat down heavily. Dawn wriggled out of her mother's arms and climbed into his lap next to her sister.

"Oh dear lord!" Usually this exclamation would be accompanied by an intense cleaning of his eye glasses, but as Dawn had plucked them off his face and was currently twisting them in her tiny hands, he wasn't even allowed that comfort.

With and impish grin and a look he realized Buffy inherited from her mother, Joyce teased, "Congratulations Rupert, you have five girls and one boy."

He tried to keep a straight face, but Joyce saw the corner of his mouth twitch in amusement. She giggled first and that set him off. The children had no idea why the adults were laughing, but they clapped and laughed happily so as not to be left out.

"Rupert, I know you need to research this and figure out how to reverse it, but the children are going to need clothes and I'll need to get some training pants and a potty chair for Dawn. Can you watch them for an hour or so while I make a quick supply run?"

"M-m-me? I don't know anything about children. There must be someone else …." he trailed off when he caught Joyce's look.

Hands on hips, she threw him a take no prisoners glare. "Who else is there? I can't exactly explain to one of the neighbors how my twenty year old daughter and her friends are now suddenly four. And I can't take them with me without proper clothing or car seats. Besides the children adore you. Just tell them a story or play with them."

She almost felt sorry for him when Xander demands for a "stowry" were echoed by the other children. She patted him gently on the shoulder as she grabbed her purse off the end table.

"Joyce. Take this," he said as he fished his credit card out of his wallet. She seemed affronted at first until he added, "the least the Council can do is to help pay for this. Although I think I will keep the specifics to myself. I don't want to have to explain to Quentin why I needed to purchase a potty chair."

Joyce laughed as she headed out the door. "I'll be back as soon as I can." As she closed and locked the door behind her she could hear the children resume their demands for a story.


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